Air New Zealand has just signed a commitment for eight Dreamliners, boosting the worth of Boeing’s backlog by $2.7 billion. While it is the first publicly announced deal by Boeing after the 737 MAX crisis went in full swing, it is not, however, the only plane order for the manufacturer in recent months.

Air New Zealand intends to buy eight Boeing 787-10s, powered by GEnx-1B engines, both parties announced on May 26, 2019. The first of these aircraft are to be delivered in 2022. In its fleet of 64 aircraft, the airline currently has 13 Dreamliners of a smaller - 787-9 version, of which it was the launch customer.

New aircraft are to “progressively” replace Air New Zealand’s aging 777s:  seven 777-300ERs and eight 777-200ERs. Based on planespotters.net data, the airline has eight 777-300ERs and nine 777-200ERs. In addition, it also operates 34 Airbus aircraft, including A320-200 A320neo and A321neo.

"This is a hugely important decision for our airline. With the 787-10 offering around 15 percent more space for both customers and cargo than the 787-9, this investment creates the platform for our future strategic direction and opens up new opportunities to grow," Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon is quoted in a statement. "The 787-10 is longer and even more fuel efficient. However, the game changer for us has been that by working closely with Boeing, we've ensured the 787-10 will meet our network needs, including the ability to fly missions similar to our current 777-200 fleet".

Boeing orders situation

The global Boeing 737 MAX fleet was grounded on March 13, 2019. After that date, commercial plane orders were scarce for Boeing, but not completely non-existent.

On March 15, Lufthansa inked order for  20 787-9s, followed by British Airways order for 18  777X on March 22. In April, an unidentified customer even placed a four-jets strong order for the notorious 737 MAX. The data for May 2019 is not currently available.

However, as of April 30, 2019, the manufacturer’s backlog shrank more than it expanded. In particular, Boeing reveals a negative 171 orders of 737 (variant unspecified), partly leveraged by a total of 52 deals among 767, 777 and 787 variants